Trays (Inserts) made using thermoforming technique find diverse applications. The most common one are in consumer goods packaging were it is used to securely place fragile items. A toy, writing instrument, Mobile phones, an ampoule or vial will snuggly placed in the tray before wrapping it with a duplex board box. A transparent window is often provided to increase the visibility of the product within.
Trays also find application in the assembly line of electronic goods manufacturing where fragile components need to be transported from one plant to another or within the production area. The components can be securely placed within the tray, preventing damages and further aiding in efficient inventory management.
Thermoforming scores over the ubiquitous method of Injection molding over the following counts. Very low tooling costs and faster project execution. Thermoforming tools are made of aluminum and you normally require having only one tool, either a male or a female, not both like in injection molding. Thermoforming operates at comparatively much lower pressures than injection. Therefore the metal used need not be so sturdy either. It takes about a month to make a thermoforming tool and cost between Rs One lakh to 3 Lakhs. This cost and lead time is about one tenth that of injection molding. However, single side tooling means the wall thickness of formed part is not uniform in case of thermoforming. Since the heated plastic sheet, which is having a uniform thickness to begin with is stretched over the mold, the finished part will have varying thickness depending on the degree of stretching before it contact the mold and turn into rigid plastic again.